Sunday, 10 September 2017

The Dead Are Coming: John and Stephen

The Dead Are Coming
John and Stephen


Prologue / Simone (parts one)

Two men stalked the side of the semi detached house, like burglars on the prowl. Fat, wrapped against the cold, unlikely burglars. It is daylight in the city, hardly burglary hour. Their method is similar to that of a thief, stay quiet and do not get caught. Although they are looking to take, it is not from the living. Quite what “living” is, these days, is open to debate. Depending on your disposition. The only conventional living people they have met are boarded up and shoo them off hurriedly; they’ve been meeting less of these people of late.


The other “alive” housing occupants wander their halls, decaying and trying to get out, bouncing angrily off their old life. Life. These houses should be treated with caution. Empty houses are better. Or houses with corpses which aren’t animate. There are dead outside the houses, too, walking. This is why they work at day. Danger from an animate assailant is another real concern, but one they’ve calculated. The men crawl silently up to the door and crouch by the letterbox. John is older than Stephen by ten years or so, making him around fifty. Both are physically imposing and sport heavy stubble. Stephen peeked through into the house.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Las Vegas: The Good, The Bad, The Weird

Exam Question

1.1. LAS VEGAS IS A HELL OF A PLACE [OF HELL]: DISCUSS

Las Vegas: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Las Vegas: The Good, The Bad and The Weird




The Good

Friday, 18 August 2017

Las Vegas: Can A Chad Swing My Vote?



Las Vegas Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
I’m back to swears. Forewarned is forearmed.


Boxing has been my staple while staying in Las Vegas. It has sustained me, given me meaning and distracted me from what Vegas appears to be. Despite all the fun I've had with the boys and things I've experienced which I wouldn't in the UK, as you've probably guessed, Las Vegas ain't somewhere I was built for. Except the weather. Man I love that heat. The guys (Josh and Asinia) had been getting up super early to do some training which sounded super good for them, but super boring for me. Despite being a boxing nut I have disabilities, and one of those is not giving a flying fuck if no punches or egg shaped balls are involved*. As well as not liking 5am.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Las Vegas: Boxing Baby!


Just for Nicky, this one has no swears in!

Las Vegas: First Impressions
Las Vegas: Jet Lag and Downtown


After what was honestly something of a disappointment that Vegas is not really for me, I felt had to move on. I'm here for two weeks. I’m aware I may have put the disappointment in slightly stronger terms in previous posts. I’d thought I might really like it, if I don’t know me by now, I never will. Which is a whole other problem I’ll deal with shortly after my last breath. So it was on, on, on to the next one.

The next one happened to be boxing, fortunately. The sole reason I’d come here, which was a consolation to me. I do not box, but then neither does Conor McGregor and that’s not stopping him coming to Las Vegas on a high. I also have a scheduled spar with Hollywood Josh. Which will be fun. Hellraiser, through Mickey’s connections, are encamped at Floyd Mayweather’s gym, which is pretty obviously a centre for excellence. Sam Fleetwood had a youngster called Tyler, lovely boxer, who took on an eleven year old with more belts than I own pants. That’s not a good comparison. But you get the idea, even the eleven year olds there are bastard good.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Las Vegas: Jet Lag and Downtown


I am now unbound by writing for work. So expect more expletives, and honesty. All my own opinion, with added grumpiness.


Our long walk on the day of arrival around the epicentre of the madness that is Las Vegas taught me that while the Strip is a marvel, it is not marvellous. I don’t like clubbing or shopping and it is essentially one huge hybrid of those things.


However, there’s plenty more to Las Vegas than the strip. I hoped. I had to hope. I was raised Catholic, it’s all we had, and it has stuck. Before I could explore beyond gaudy ground zero, though, I had to contend with a sore throat and a general overwhelming feeling of lethargy. I've never travelled 8 hours (and arguably 40 years) into the past before. We went to the gym we’d wandered into on the Thursday evening on Friday, and beforehand got some breakfast at a diner/ burger type place. I had already worked out that eating was going to be a problem for two reasons. Firstly, I have lost a stone and a half lately and would like to not undo that hard work; they put cheese on salads here. Secondly, and more importantly, due to the pound being weaker than a hospice tug ‘o’ war team everywhere is costly to eat. Everywhere.

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Las Vegas: First Impressions



This was initially written for work, but for reasons which will become obvious, is now going out on my blog instead.


I’ve been to America before, twice. Once was a 6000 mile road trip round the south eastern states; it was amazing for many reasons. That I don’t drive was just one of them. New York in my early teens was fun, but New York is a lot like London, where I grew up. It was safe to say I had never been somewhere in America I have despised. Las Vegas is totally new to me though and the Hellraiser annual Las Vegas “sparring party” has been going out with Mickey Helliet since 2010. Mickey has been going since long before then, and has attended big fights out here. Sadly that’s not an option this time, but it offers a unique opportunity to both the boxers who benefit from sparring at Floyd Mayweather’s gym, and me, as a writer and boxing fan. I was extremely excited to be coming out here.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

The Space Between Trees


When my son went missing, I was horrified. How do people get lost in this day and age? He’d never been a tough kid, he played sports, sure. But he wasn’t a leader or a game winner. I wasn’t ashamed of this part of him, I should say. I wasn’t ashamed of that, because that part was what he got from me. He had his day, few tries here and there, occasional game where the other players, children really, would pat him on the back. That was pride, for us both. I suppose.


Not without his difficulty is kind. Is it kind? He has a bad mood. That’s not the right words. He has an inability to have consistent mood. In that sense he wasn’t normal. Isn't normal. I don’t think. He was like a ship in a storm, always struggling to rectify the ballast, to equalise. Always rocking, overcompensating. It was horrible to watch, hard to be around. It was awful to be around. He’d puff his chest out and go about his day but I could always see he wasn’t ok. What could I do though? He said he was fine.